Today in Worcester hockey history: December 23


1994 vs Adirondack 3-3 tie
The IceCats jumped out to a two goal lead, but had to scramble late to forge a 3-3 tie with the Adirondack Red Wings. John Carter got Worcester on the board at 2:25 of the first with an assist by Jim Nesich, and Blair Atcheynum made it 2-0 at 12:41 with Denis Chalifoux and Terry Virtue getting the helpers. The Red Wings would then run off three in a row, with Kurt Miller scoring at 5:32 of the second, Martin Lapointe at 10:58 of the third, and Joe Frederick at 15:45 to take a 3-2 lead. Chalifoux would score an extra attacker goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation to give Worcester the 3-3 tie. Jason Widmer and Virtue assisted on the goal. Kevin Hodson made 40 saves for the Red Wings while Les Kuntar had 28 for the IceCats.

1997 at Springfield 4-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats went on their Christmas break a day early as they barely put up a fight against the Falcons in a 4-1 loss. The first period was scoreless, and the Falcons grabbed the first two goals of the middle stanza when Ted Crowley scored at 3:32 and Martin Simard followed at 5:42. Rory Fitzpatrick cut the Springfield lead in half at 15:15 on the power play when he blasted a Michal Handzus feed past Falcons netminder Scott Langkow. Brian Farrell killed whatever little momentum the ‘Cats had with a goal at 19:49. Shane Doan capped the scoring with a third period goal at 2:06. Fred Cassivi made 23 saves in the loss.

2006 vs Lowell 2-1 SOL
(DEVILS) The Lowell Devils (16-13-2-1) recovered from a late Worcester goal to edge the Sharks 2-1 in the shootout Saturday night at the DCU Center. Stephen Gionta scored the only goal and Frank Doyle was perfect in the shootout to lead the Devils to victory. Though neither team lit the lamp in the first period, they were not without chances. Worcester controlled much of the early part of the period, but it was the Devils who came closest to scoring. An apparent goal by Gionta midway through the first frame was waived off as the net had come off its moorings. The Devils led 10-8 in shots after twenty minutes. Grant Marshall broke the scoreless tie at 5:54 of the second period when he capitalized off a Sharks turnover at the Devils blue line and scored on a breakaway. The goal, Marshall’s third of the season, was unassisted. Worcester peppered Doyle with 14 shots in the period, and had two goals disallowed – one that bounced in off an official’s skate, and one as a result of a goaltender interference call. The Devils lead held until 14:57 in the third period when Justin Kurtz blasted a shot that found its way through Doyle’s pads and into the net. Kurtz’ second goal of the season came after a sustained rally by the Sharks and eventually sent the game into overtime. Neither team would score in the extra frame and the scoring drought continued into the shootout. Both Doyle and Nolan Schaefer were perfect until Gionta’s tally in the fifth round sealed the victory for Lowell, who now trail second place Manchester by only two points. The win improved the Devils to 2-1 in the shootout and 3-1 against the Sharks this season.

2017 at Adirondack 5-3 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (12-10-2-2, 28pts) headed into the holiday break with a 5-3 win over the host Adirondack Thunder (15-13-1-1, 32pts) in front of 2,963 fans at the Cool Insuring Arena on Saturday evening. The Railers had five different goal scorers while Eamon McAdam made 34 saves in net for his 7th win of the season and picked up the #1 star. Worcester finished off a stretch of five games in 11 days vs. the Thunder with a 3-2-0-0 record during the stretch. The Railers have won four of five games headed into the holiday break. Worcester scored a season high three goals in the first period to take a nice three goal into the first intermission. Matt Lane (1st) scored his first goal of the season after Wade Murphy intercepted the puck and found Lane alone in the left slot at 15:05. Just 38 seconds later, Frankie DiChiara found Woody Hudson (7th) in the left circle and Woody fired a shot blocker side past Chris Nell at 15:43. The Railers would strike again as Chris Langkow (9th) scored on a shorthanded penalty shot opportunity on the backhand at 18:55 to give the Railers a three-goal lead through 20 minutes. Shots were 14-14 through 20 minutes as Eammon McAdam stood strong. Each team scored in the second period but it was the Thunder to get on the board first as Nick Riopel replaced Chris Nell in net. But first, Yannick Turcotte (10th FM) took care of Vytal Cote (2nd FM) with a series of lefts and rights in a long scrap at 1:14 of the second period. Paul Rodrigues (4th) struck at 5:03 to cut the Railers lead to 3-1. But the Railers would get it right back at 8:18 after Chris Langkow found Barry Almeida (7th) all alone at the side of the net at 8:16. Patrick McNally (11th) scored his ECHL leading 11th goal from the blue line with an empty net shorthanded goal at 11:49 to give the Railers a 5-1 advantage. The Thunder would score two goals late at 13:45 by Ben Murphy (5th) and Desmond Bergin (6th) at 18:41 but it wasn’t enough as the Railers held on for a 5-3 win.

2022 at Adirondack 7-0 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (18-9-1-0, 37pts) lost to the Adirondack Thunder (6-14-3-1, 16pts) on Friday evening by the final score of 7-0 in front of a crowd of 2,476 at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, NY. The Railers are off for Christmas break until December 28th, when they head up to Portland, ME to face off against the Maine Mariners at Cross Insurance Arena at 1:00 p.m. A former Railer got things going in the first period as Grant Jozefek (1-0-1) tipped a shot in front on the power play to beat Henrik Tikkanen in net for Worcester and make it 1-0 Thunder as the teams headed into the first intermission. Isaac Poulter in net for Adirondack and Tikkanen in net for Worcester each stood tall in the second, with neither team conceding a goal. This was just the second time all season Worcester had been held scoreless through two. Adirondack then opened the floodgates in the third, with goals coming from Ryan Smith (1-1-2), Xavier Parent (3-1-4), and Sebastian Vidmar (2-0-2) to make it 7-0 Adirondack by the game’s end. Grant Jozefek (5th), who once scored a goal for the Railers during the 2021-22 season, did so against the Railers for Adirondack to open the score at 1-0 Thunder 7:19 into the first. It came as an Adirondack power play expired, which freed two Railers from the penalty box simultaneously in Bobby Butler and Phil Beaulieu. The two had yet to rejoin the flow of play, which enabled the Thunder to score on what was effectively a five-on-three. Neither team scored the rest of the frame, sending the game into the intermission at 1-0 Adirondack. Worcester was outshot 16-9 through the first. It was a scoreless second period for just the third time all season, as neither team found the back of the net through two periods. Henrik Tikkanen had been lights out for Worcester, stopping 29 of 30 shots faced for the Railers through two stanzas. Worcester continued to get outshot by Adirondack, 14-7 in the second, and 30-16 for the game. Adirondack then poured on the offense in the third period, scoring the most goals they’ve scored in a single game this season at seven total on the night. Worcester conceded six goals in the third period, the most that they’ve allowed in a single frame all season long. Xavier Parent (5th, 6th, 7th) scored a hat trick for the Thunder all within the third period, but not everyone realized it at first. Only one hat was thrown onto the ice as Parent scored his third of the night. The rest of the hats ended up making their way out once Parent was announced as the first star of the game, postgame. Sebastian Vidmar (5th, 6th) added a pair of goals while Ryan Smith (1st) notched his first of the season, all contributing to the game’s 7-0 final. Worcester was outshot 15-5 in the third, and 45-21 on the game. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd Star: Grant Jozefek (1-2-3, +3, 3 shots), 2nd Star: Sebastian Vidmar (2-0-2, 5 shots), 1st Star: Xavier Parent (3-1-4, +3, 5 shots)… Final shots were in favor of Adirondack 45-21… Isaac Poulter made 21 saves on 21 shots for the Thunder… Henrik Tikkanen (9-6-0) made 38 saves on 45 shots for Worcester, while Brent Moran served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-4 on the power play while Adirondack went 3-for-6… Blake Christensen (DNP), Myles McGurty (DNP), and Jack Quinlivan (IR) did not play for Worcester… Quin Ryan led the Railers in shots with 5… The Railers are now 34-18-2-0 all-time vs. the Thunder and 19-10-1-0 at Cool Insuring Arena against Adirondack.


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